Michael Arntfield joins us to talk about his latest book, Murder In Plain English – From Manifestos to Memes – Looking at Murder through the words of Killers.
We discuss how artifice and crime are linked and inform each other.
Michael Arntfield joins us to talk about his latest book, Murder In Plain English – From Manifestos to Memes – Looking at Murder through the words of Killers.
We discuss how artifice and crime are linked and inform each other.
I attended Trinity College with Malcolm Gladwell at the University of Toronto. In the course of the last thirty years we have attended two weddings together; one infamous and bombastic, the other sweet and unforgettable.
This is a slightly longer version of an an interview I did with Malcolm for GovLove International, a podcast about emerging issues and trends in local government. If you’re wondering what links a conversation with Malcolm Gladwell and a website about unsolved murders consider the issues of social justice:
The Mercey Brothers – Old Loves Never Die:
A response to The Minds Of Madness podcast.
We backtrack. Revisit Luc Gregoire.
The music: It’s The Sweet: Love Is Like Oxygen. This was released January, 1978. I know Theresa loved it. It also addresses Tyler and Bek’s point about prog rock and disco culture.
Twitter – @madnesspod
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/MadnessPod
Notes from the podcast
Prologue: On October 29, 1999 Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old nurse at a hospital in the Laurentians was found dead at her home in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec (North of Montreal) . Gaudreau was found in the bedroom. She had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and stabbed 55 times. This is the story of William Patrick Fyfe.
Music: The Poppy Family: Evil Grows
Some intro on Fyfe: William Fyfe , known as the Killer Handyman, Born in late February 1955. One of Canada’s most prolific serial killers. why it’s important to talk about him
So let’s get into how Fyfe was caught. To answer that we first turn to the case of Anna Yarnold, a 59-year-old woman who was found dead on October 15, 1999 in Senneville, Quebec (west of Montreal… 1,500 people?). Lived in isolated home on water front. In analyzing the crime scene police note that the assailant approached the house in a vehicle at night. Yarnold’s dog was locked in a room with her handbag, wallet. The body found outside in the garden. Face down in flower bed. There was bruising on the neck and face, and she was beaten with a flower pot. She was initially attacked in the bathroom. She ran outside. Where she was choked beaten and bashed in the head with a flower pot. The assailant took credit cards. Police initially suspect her husband, Robert Yarnold because the scene seemed too violent for a mere robbery. crime of passion. There were no forensics / hard to get forensics on an outside murder. (Paul Cherry interviewed, he reported that it probably wasn’t a robbery)
Police know began to question if this was in some way connected to an incident that happened earlier in the Summer in the West Island of Montreal. In July, 1999 a woman named Janet Kuckinsky was attacked and murdered on a Bicycle path in the West Island.
At this point police also go back to the case of Monique Gaudreau, a 45-year-old victim from Saint Agathe who was beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed 55 times. However, as with Yarnold police have very little forensics. In fact, not even a robbery, nothing taken. Outside they find a footprint (blood of Mrs. Gaudreau). They also find blood droplets belonging to a male individual. Different causes of death (knife / smashed with pot), therefore different killers? Forensic biologist Josenthe Prevot: “It’s difficult to approach violence, to be in there him. To be in the victim’s environment where they live their everyday lives”
On November 19th, 1999, a 55-year old accountant goes missing in Laval, Quebec. When police go to check her apartment they find four Montreal Gazette’s stacked outside her door. Teresa Shanahan was found stabbed to death on November 23, 1999. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed 32 times. The scene was similar to Gaudreau, except there were items missing, jewelry and credit cards. Later there were ATM withdrawals the evening of the murder : $500 / $500. The assailant obtained her PIN number. At about this time the daughter of Anna Yarnold noticed withdrawals from her account. Police obtained a grainy / blurry photo produced from ATM, man in kangaroo hoody with a bearded. As Yarnold’s husband was clean shaven this ruled him out.
From this police now piece together that the assailant is torturing victims to obtain PIN numbers. He’s using subterfuge to obtain entry / tradesman or handyman: no break-ins.
December 15, 1999: a man comes to door of home in Baie-d’Urfé, Quebec (west). Asks the woman who answers if she’d like any gardening done. He’s doing some work in the area, could he offer services. Woman talks to husband, and then declines the offer.
Across the street on that same day 50-year-old Mary Glenn, was beaten and stabbed to death. Glenn lived alone in a waterfront home. Same man approaches home. Following morning woman finds her in living room. Interior, beaten, stabbed and violated. Prevost returns. Clothed. Beaten with blunt object. No forced entry. Very violent, covering many rooms, hair ripped out, blood in multiple rooms. Finished in living room. Turned on back,” beaten to a pulp” Again, footprints in blood. Blood on hands, washes hands in kitchen sink. Goes to bedroom upstairs, shakes down victim’s purse. A forensics printer expert, Jean Paul Menier, finds a finger print. Loads into finger print bank. A match is made: The print is that of 44 year old William Fyfe.
So who is Fyfe? Born in Toronto, raised in Montreal. Attended Montreal High School, he was known for urinating on the school bus. His first adult run-in with the law was in 1975, when he was charged with theft over $200 in Montreal and sentenced to six months in jail. Since then a series of BandEs and thefts. He worked as handyman. He was married, separated with a child. Since then several rel/ships. He did home renovations. Last known address was in a town north of Montreal.
At this point the police have a puzzle: Do they go public and risk scaring him off into hiding, or do they act in the importance of the public interest? The police are given several hours to find him. Ex-girl friend tips that he may be staying at mother’s in Barrie Ontario. OPP Detective Jim Miller goes to mother’s old farm house. Car with QC plates registered to Fyfe. 24 hour surveillance. Determining if enough evidence to arrest. MUC come to Barrie, publish photo of Fyfe. Say he’s suspect, wanted for questioning. Story goes national. Leaves home, goes to Toronto, looks for newspapers, puts in orders for the Gazette. Dec 21st, 1999. Goes to church, drops three pairs of running shoes. Drove away. Spots on shoes that appear to be blood. Police finally close in on Fyfe at the Husky Truck Stop gas station in Barrie on December 22, 1999, he’s placed under arrest for Mary Elizabeth Glenn. “why don’t you shoot me now?”
Corporal Andrew Bouchard, Montreal police : on the investigation. Bouchard head of Montreal’s major crimes division. Interrogation: “arrogant. Cold like a fish”. First night, they don’t get very far. The secure his cigarette butts for DNA.
Hazel Scattolon, a 52-year-old woman who was stabbed to death and sexually assaulted in March 21, 1981. Scattalon’s son played hockey with Fyfe. Calls in in aftermath. Fyfe had painted in Hazel’s house. Mount Royal. At this point, where they thought they were investigating a series of murders from 1999, Fyfe has the potential of stretching back 18 years
Through it all Fyfe maintained his innocence, but there was simply too much evidence. There was blood on Fyfe’s shoes and clothing. In the case of Anna Yarnold police found traces of her blood on Fyfe’s clothing. The prints from the Monique Gaudreau crime scene tied to shoes recovered at the church in Ontario. Teresa Shanahan’s stolen ring later turned up as one of Fyfe’s possessions. And finally of course the finger print recovered at the Mary Glenn site turned out to be Fyfe’s.
On Sept 21, 2001 Fyfe is sentenced to life in prison wit out parole for 25 years. He denied involvement in the Janet Kuckinsky case.
During these affairs Fyfe hinted at other cases. After his conviction he confessed to 4 more:
And police also later learn that Fyfe was responsible for a string of violent rapes in the 1980s in downtown Montreal / “The Plumber” rapes.
(series of violent rapes in the 1980s / Plumber Rapes)
So putting the timeline together, Fyfe’s activity crosses two decades 1979 – 1999.
Police begin to ponder the the gaps in time. And why the slowing of violence? Why did he calm down. Police said Fyfe was always willing to describe the crimes in vivid detail, but he remained silent as to motive. “What hit you to cause you to kill again? Why did you stab her so many times” / “that’s for me to know”, Fyfe replied.
In 2000 a task force was formed and Investigation units from Montreal, Laval, SQ went back and check files on 85 cold cases dating back to 1981.
During the 1980s Fyfe lived in St. Laurent (borders Cartierville) , LaSalle, Lachine and Verdun (south of Pointe Saint Charles) during the 1980s and in the Laurentian town of Saint-Jerome in 1993 (north).
He still remains a suspect in at least 5 unsolved murders:
Looking at our own cases, could Fyfe be a suspect? No: wrong timeline (too young), different modus operandi:
Note the above two because please only delve back as far as 1979, so we presume they know he was in prison?
Was Fyfe operating with a different M.O .at an earlier age, then switched at some point to something less risky? (Outdoors to indoors. Younger to older victims)
Fyfe will be elegible for parole September, 2026. He will be 69 to 70 years of age.
Out music: Terry Jacks / Seasons in the Sun
Donc, le monde s’élève à nouveau à propos de la dernière transgression géographique de Karla Homolka.
Hier, la Gazette de Montréal a rapporté que le tueur en série canadien a supervisé les enfants de la maternelle de l’Académie Adventiste de Greaves lors d’une excursion en mars et une fois amené son chien à l’école pour les élèves d’animaux de compagnie. Les trois enfants d’Homolka fréquentent l’école privée.
Comme tout parent, je suis outragé. Maintenant, dites-moi comment vous allez mieux gérer la situation. C’est une école privée. L’école connaissait son histoire. Ils ont apparemment pris la décision que tout le monde mérite une seconde chance. Leur décision.
Dans l’affaire pénale contre Karla Homolka, la poursuite lui a donné un accord de cœur doux, après 12 ans de prison, elle a marché en 2005. Encore une fois, leur décision (…effroyable). Au printemps dernier, nous avons appris que Homolka vivait dans la communauté de Chateauguay à la rive sud de Montréal, et le monde était de nouveau indigné. Eh bien, elle doit vivre quelque part? Nous ne la lancerons pas devant les murs de la société.
Je me souviens très bien d’avoir parlé avec un administrateur des services correctionnels de la Colombie-Britannique il y a quelques années, qui a parlé de l’arrestation d’un délinquant sexuel enregistré dans son quartier. Elle a cuit une assiette de biscuits, et elle et sa fille ont traversé la rue pour les présenter à l’homme:
“Salut, bienvenue dans le quartier. Je m’appelle Jane Smith, je travaille pour le département des services correctionnels”
Traduction: “Salut,” Jane Jane, je sais que vous êtes “.
Le point était très simple. Bienvenue, mais je vais regarder. Confiance, mais vérifiez.
Lorsque mes enfants étaient plus jeunes, j’avais l’habitude de passer du temps à sondage périodique de la base de données des délinquants sexuels pour voir qui était entré dans le quartier. Je me suis rapidement arrêté parce qu’il y avait trop d’aller et venir, et je n’avais pas beaucoup des biscuits. Mieux vaut apprendre à mes enfants à être vigilants et à NE PAS CONFIER LES HOMMES. Difficile, je sais, mais pourquoi ne pas couper à la poursuite.
À plus d’attention, je préfère avoir Leanne Teale – le nom d’Homolka qui utilise actuellement – vivant dans mon quartier parce que j’ai identifié la menace, je pourrais atténuer les risques.
Dans tout cela, je crains que les gens manquent d’un problème plus important; La menace d’Homolka pourrait être réelle, et les panneaux d’avertissement sont profondément tissés dans le tissu de l’histoire de Montréal.
En choisissant de vivre sur la rive sud de Montréal, Homolka a sélectionné une communauté avec une histoire tragique remarquablement similaire à celle de Saint Catherines, en Ontario, où Paul Bernardo et Homolka ont menacé les meurtres brutaux de Leslie Mahaffy, âgée de 14 ans, et de 15 ans Kirsten French.
En 1974-75, la ville de Châteauguay a été secouée par les disparitions et les meurtres de Norma O’Brien, 12 ans, et Debbie Fisher, âgée de 14 ans. Dans un délai d’un an, un jeune délinquant qui s’appelait le chasseur de Châteauguay (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) a été arrêté, mais la communauté n’a jamais complètement récupéré.
Aller au printemps dernier et avoir une idée de la véritable source de l’indignation de la communauté. Remarquablement, aucune agence de presse ne s’est inquiété de souligner ” l’ironie” d’Homolka en choisissant cette ville. Un journaliste m’a dit à l’époque que «ils ne voulaient pas encore traumatiser les gens», comme si, en tant que société, nous ne pouvions pas avoir de discussions difficiles. Lorsque les médias brouillent de telles conversations, ils font plus de dégâts que de bien, ce qui laisse les communautés à aucun autre recours, mais à la fessée des tours dans les cirques des médias sociaux (et ils n’ont aucun scrupule de remuer ce pot de merde).
Et est-ce que Homolka peut-on se qualifier “d’ironique” à Chateauguay? N’est-il pas possible qu’elle ait délibérément choisi cette communauté parce qu’elle lui était aussi familière que Saint Catherines? Une petite communauté de banlieue, une histoire de tragédie avec deux jeunes victimes d’âge similaire à Mahaffy et French, qui ressemblent physiquement à Mahaffy et French. Homolka a-t-elle appris la tragédie pendant son séjour dans la prison du Québec? Les détenus parlent de ces choses. En bref, Homolka a-t-il choisi Chateauguay parce qu’il se sentait à la maison?
Si vous pensez que l’idée d’un délinquant obligé de ré-vivre les expériences horribles des crimes, le sujet de la fiction considère ceci:
Gilles Pimparé, montré à gauche en 1979
Gilles Pimparé, emprisonné depuis 1979 pour le brutal et infâme meurtre du pont Jacques-Cartier de Maurice Marcil, 14 ans, et Chantal Dupont, 15 ans, a été renvoyée à la libération conditionnelle six fois en 13 ans. Remarquablement, la famille Dupont l’a pardonné, en achetant son histoire qu’il «aimait Chantal trop, c’est pourquoi il devait la tuer». Mais l’une des principales raisons pour lesquelles Pimparé n’a jamais été libéré? Il a gardé un porn stash sur son disque dur qui avait des photos de jeunes filles nues posant au pont Jacques Cartier pour soutenir les décennies de sa paraphilique après les meurtres commis (vous pouvez le consulter en vérifiant ses dossiers de libération conditionnelle).
Je me demande si Homolka avait une intention particulière quand elle a choisi de vivre à Châteauguy. Si j’étais journaliste d’investigation? Je voudrais vérifier si les corrections / libération conditionnelle l’ont assignée à Chateauguy ou si elle l’a choisi.
Faites confiance, mais vérifiez.
So the world’s up in arms again about the latest geographic transgression of Karla Homolka.
Yesterday the Montreal Gazette reported that the Canadian serial killer supervised kindergarten children from the Greaves Adventist Academy on a field trip in March and once brought her dog to the school for students to pet. Homolka’s three children attend the private school ( Karla volunteered at an N.D.G. elementary school ).
Like any parent I am outraged. Now tell me how you’d better handle the situation. It’s a private school. The school knew of her history. They apparently made the decision that everyone deserves a second chance. Their decision.
In the criminal case against Karla Homolka the prosecution gave her a sweet-heart deal, after 12-years in prison she walked in 2005. Again, their (appalling) decision. Last spring we learned Homolka was living in the Montreal south shore community of Chateauguay, and the world again was outraged. Well she’s got to live somewhere? We’re not going to toss her outside the walls of society.
I well remember speaking with a British Columbia corrections administrator some years ago who talkedto about when a registered sex offender moved into her neighborhood. She baked a plate of cookies, and she and her daughter walked across the street to present them to the man:
“Hi, welcome to the neighborhood. My name’s Jane Smith, I work for the department of corrections,”
Translation: “Hi, “m Jane Smith, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.”
The point was very simple. Welcome, but I’ll be watching. Trust, but verify.
When my children were younger I used to spend time periodically probing the sex offender database to see who had moved into the neighborhood. I soon stopped because there were just too many coming and going, and I didn’t have that many cookies. Better to teach my kids how to be vigilant, and to NOT TRUST MEN. Harsh, I know, but why not cut to the chase.
On further consideration I might prefer having Leanne Teale – the name Homolka’s currently using – living in my neighborhood because having identified the threat, I could then mitigate the risk.
In all this bluster and bombast I fear people are missing a larger issue; Homolka’s threat might be real, and the warning signs are deeply woven int the fabric of Montreal’s history.
In choosing to live on Montreal’s south shore Homolka selected a community with a remarkably similar tragic history to that of Saint Catherines, Ontario, where Paul Bernardo and Homolka carried out the brutal murders of 14-year-old Leslie Mahaffy and 15-year-old Kirsten French.
In 1974-75 the town of Chateauguay was rocked by the disappearances and murders of 12-year-old Norma O’Brien and 14-year-old Debbie Fisher. Within a year a young offender who came to be known as the Chateauguay Killer (“Le Maniaque Pleine Lune”) was arrested, but the community never fully recovered.
Jump forward to last spring and you get some idea of the true source of the community’s outrage. Remarkably, no news agency bothered to point out the “irony” of Homolka choosing this town. One reporter told me at the time that “they didn’t want to further traumatize people”, as if as a society we are incapable of having difficult discussions. When the media muzzles such conversations they do more damage than good, leaving communities no other resort but to sling shit at the towers in the social media circus (and the media have no qualms about stirring that shit pot).
And can Homolka moving to Chateauguay really be best summed up as “ironic”? Is it not possible that she deliberately chose this community because it was as familiar to her as Saint Catherines? A small suburban community, a history of tragedy with two young victims similar in age to Mahaffy and French, who physically resemble Mahaffy and French. Did Homolka learn of the tragedy while serving her time in Quebec prison? Inmates talk about such things. In short, did Homolka choose Chateauguay because it felt like home?
If you think the idea of an offender compelled to re-live the gruesome experiences of crimes the stuff of fiction consider this:
Gilles Pimparé, imprisoned since 1979 for the brutal and infamous Jacques Cartier Bridge murders of Maurice Marcil, 14, and Chantal Dupont, 15, has been denied parole six times in 13 years. Remarkably, the Dupont family forgave him, buying his story that he “loved Chantal too much, that’s why he had to kill her.”. But one of the chief reasons Pimparé has never been paroled? He kept a porn stash on his hard drive that had photos of naked young girls posing at the Jacques Cartier Bridge to sustain his paraphiliac fantasy’s decades after the murders were committed (you can look it up by checking his parole records).
So I just wonder whether Homolka had specific intention when she chose to live in Chateauguy. If I were an investigative journalist? I’d want to check and see if corrections / parole assigned her to Chateauguy or if she chose it.
Trust but verify.
I’ve been giving some thought and research to the matter of the man convicted in the First Degree Murder of Lailane Silva, Luc Gregoire being the serial killer suspected in the deaths of a number of prostitutes in the Calgary area from 1991 to 1993.
These cold-cases have long been a point of frustration for the RCMP, Calgary Police Services, and the Calgary community (see Homicide: When The Trail Goes Cold and 505 Killing, 25 years: What our analysis says about Calgary). In his 2012 book, Cold North Killers, Lee Mellor dubs these “The Calgary Prostitute Murders”, singling out the files of Jennifer Janz, Jennifer Joyes, Keeley Pincott, Tracy Maunder, and Rebecca Boutilier and suggesting that another six unsolved female murders may be linked:
“Then as soon as the killings started, they stopped. Police suspect the killer may have been jailed for another crime.”
As it turns out there is an offender who fits the profile and timeline. It’s Luc Gregoire. The Calgary cases unfolded between July 1991 and March 1993. Gregoire was released from prison in Alberta January 1991 and arrested in May 1993 for the Silva murder.
Initially when Gregoire was apprehended there was a lot of attention given to the matter, with police reporting that they were investigating Gregoire for other murders ( a May 7, 1993 Calgary Herald article references Gregoire in relation to the then unsolved murder of Dilleen Hemple, as well as Maunder and Boutilier). Gradually, all the attention died-down. In fact, today the only reference you can find linking Gregoire to these cases is in the obscure dark corners of web sleuthy sub Reddits.
Perhaps police did their due diligence and found no evidence. Or perhaps they didn’t like what they found and conveniently chose to ignore where it was leading (note: Gregoire died in a Quebec correctional facility in 2015).
So was Gregoire the Calgary Prostitute Murderer?
The following timeline was developed using three primary source documents. The first document was a 1993 report commissioned by The Correctional Service of Canada analyzing the pre-indicators that lead up to the First Degree Murder charge of Luc Yoland Gregoire after his statutory release from prison in Calgary Alberta on January 21st, 1991. The second document is a report by Calgary sociologist Augustine Brannigan on the victimization of prostitutes and is available (click here) on the internet. Finally there’s Maryanne Pearce‘s most excellent database, An Awkward Silence: Missing and Murdered Vulnerable Women and the Canadian Justice System which documents the history of female homicide in Canada suggesting that possibly as many as 4,000 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada remain under-investigated by law enforcement (for more on this read the article, The Vanishing of Canada’s First Nations Women)
First some background on Gregoire. Recall that Gregoire had a varied criminal history in Quebec, and did not particularly target any specific type of victim. In 1981 he assaulted a mother of four in a parking lot in Sherbrooke, Quebec and attempted to choke her with his bare hands. In 1983 Gregoire was arrested in Montreal for an assault on a prostitute where he attempted to have sex with her and her injuries resulted after she refused. In 1985 he is arrested in Slave Lake, Alberta and charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
In the month leading up to his murder of Lailane Silva his behaviors appear similarly random. April 6, 1993, Gregoire assaults a Calgary prostitute with a roofing hammer. May 2, 1993, Gregoire attempts to abduct Aida Yuen in front of her Castleridge home. Finally, murder victim Silva is a 7-Eleven employee who Gregoire abducts while she is washing the store windows at 12:30 am, May, 3, 1993. Gregoire rapes and murders (strangulation) Silva in his car, then dumps her body in Calgary.
Gregoire is convicted and sentenced in Edmonton, Alberta on charges of Robbery (4 years), Unlawful Use of a Fire Arm (3 years consecutive, with 10 year probation), Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (2 years concurrent). He serves 3 1/2 years before being granted release on Mandatory Supervision.
JANUARY 21, 1991
Offender Gregoire is released on Mandatory Supervision, and is living in Edmonton, Alberta.
Gregoire is assessed by his parole supervisor as “high risk / medium needs”. Psychological intervention is seen as essential and “is being pursued”. Abstention from intoxicants is listed as part of the action plan, Gregoire reports attending bars to test himself and is cautioned by his supervisor, Bruce Anderson.
Gregoire is referred to a treatment center to determine need for counseling.
“The semi-nude body of Shawna Van Der Basch, age 20, is found on June 20, 1991, in a ditch beside a gravel road south-west of Calgary near the town of Priddis. This was the first of three murders in 1991. The evening before the body was discovered, Miss Van Der Basch had been seen in a downtown nightclub in the company of a man with whom she left after midnight. She had been in Calgary for six months since moving from Vancouver. She had worked as a hairdresser and as an escort. The cause of death was strangulation. Shawna Van Der Basch was not known as a street prostitute and nothing was published about her activities as an escort. However, the way the body was discarded bears comparison with both previous and subsequent cases.”
“The second 1991 case involved an adolescent. Jennifer Janz’s body is unearthed at a construction site on August 13 near Valley Ridge Road and the Trans-Canada Highway on the western edge of Calgary in a shallow grave (Calgary Herald, August 15, 1991). She is “battered” and apparently died from a massive blow to the chest (Calgary Herald, August 16, 1991). She was a 16 year old who left home after completing grade nine to live with her street friends. She had attended a Christian camp in Texas in September and October of 1990 with the support of her family. Upon returning to Calgary, she tried unsuccessfully to re-enter high school and drifted back and forth between her family and the street. She was last seen by her family on July 10 when she was driven to hospital by her father for medical treatment. She appeared close to becoming reconciled with her family in the weeks before she disappeared (Calgary Herald, October 6, 1991). Whether she was involved in street prostitution was not publicly disclosed. The case has not been cleared.”
Gregoire attends treatment and becomes agitated at the length of time required for assessment, and the interview is terminated. Under the circumstances, the attending psychologist closes the file and notes that there would not be any benefit in having him re-referred.
Also at this time a Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed which assesses Gregoire as “low risk / medium needs”. Gregoire is reluctant to see a psychologist, but is meeting regularly with a pastor of a local church who is trained in counseling.
“The third 1991 case came to attention within days of the Janz murder. Jennifer Joyes, age 17, was reported missing from her group home on August 30, having last been seen at the home on August 10th. Her nude and partially de-composed body is found in a wooded area near Springbank west of the city limits on October 7, 1991 (Calgary Herald, October 8, 1991) – two kilometres south of the spot where Jennifer Janz’s body was found on August 13 (Calgary Herald, Oct. 9, 1991). The body had been in the area for at least a month, according to police. The cause of death was not publicized.”
During a regular supervision appointment Gregoire is observed to have a black eye and scratches. He explains that he was at a night club drinking and intervened on behalf of a woman who was being beaten. Case notes report that this is the first indication that he is drinking again.
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 1991
Another assessment session is scheduled, however Gregoire is unable to attend due to employment in Calgary. One month travel permit is issued to Calgary.
Community Risk / Needs Management Scale is completed. Alcohol use is reported, but is not seen as problematic. “Low risk / Medium needs” assessment is maintained. Supervision is transferred to Calgary since offender Gregoire will now be working there permanently.
January 18th, 1992, the body of teenager, Anita Gilavish is found in a bird sanctuary in the East part of Calgary. Family mention that she ran with a “rough crowd”, cite use of drugs. Possibly involved in prostitution.
“The case of Keeley Louise Pincott, age 29. News reports described Pincott as a “mother, barmaid and waitress” (Calgary Herald, November 3, 1992). Pincott went missing after working as a barmaid several days before her body was discovered. There was no evidence that she was involved in street prostitution. The cause of death is unknown or unpublished. Her skeletal remains were found 2 kilometres north of Cochrane in a shallow grave in a dead end road used as a ‘lover’s lane’ on 10 March, 1992 (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). Police identified the body as that of Pincott shortly thereafter. The location of the remains some 40 kilometres north west of Calgary raised questions about a common killer in the Janz, Joyes and Pincott cases (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1992). In September, 1994, an Edmonton RCMP crime analyst suggested that police had a suspect in the three murders but insufficient evidence for an arrest. Subsequent reports have failed to substantiate this.”
Gregoire is assessed and the report notes of his reluctance to participate in counseling, and concludes that there would be little benefit in forcing him to attend. In terms of alcohol use, it suggests that if it results “in any criminal charge while he is still on parole then his parole conditions should be varied to abstain and attend treatment for further assessment.”
Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed by Alberta Justice parole supervisor Betty Buss. Gregoire’s use of alcohol is seen as a major focus of supervision, and notes that should alcohol cause a change in the current situation further action will be initiated. The case plan includes the reduction of use by one half. The General Statistical Information on Recidivism (SIR) rating is recorded as +4 although a new rating has not been completed and the Edmonton supervision records consistently refer to a rating of -8. He is assessed as “low risk / low needs”, and supervision frequency is reduced from twice to once per month.
“Another 1992 case was brought to our attention by Calgary police. This case involved a transsexual, Jean McMaster. No story appeared in The Herald. It is not known whether McMaster was working as a prostitute nor is the cause of death known at this time. This case is uncleared.”
Found August 8th, 1992 at 68th street SE, Calgary.
Gregoire reports to his parole supervisor an unauthorized trip to Banff. A case conference is held with the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office and Gregoire is verbally reprimanded.
“The next case involved Tracy Lynn Maunder who was a 26 year old single mother. She was seen by the building manager in the apartment complex where she lived on October 28, 1992 and her appearance was confirmed later that evening on the main stroll by other prostitutes. Since her child was under supervision of a baby sitter, her disappearance was noticed immediately. Her partially clad body was discovered on November 1 in a grassy field in the area of 17th Ave SE between Garden and Sheppard Roads on the outskirts of Calgary. She had been beaten and stabbed to death. She was survived by an 11 year old son – a son she bore when she was only 14 years old. She had worked previously as a waitress, and had been prostituting for about 6 months prior to her murder, apparently to support her son. At the time of her murder, she was battling cancer. In subsequent investigations, the RCMP discovered a knife near the scene of the crime (Calgary Herald, November 7, 1992). The case has not been cleared.”
Gregoire is granted a six day travel permit to Edmonton to pursue legal action against the Service as a result of his 1988 assault at the correctional institution.
Dilleen Hempel was a waitress when she was abducted on her way home from work, November 16, 1992. Five months after Dilleen’s disappearance, the search ended in tragedy when her body was discovered. A man, unknown to the young waitress, had followed her home from the bar where she worked and lured her from her car. Steven Beirnes then shot her twice in the back of her head and buried her in a shallow grave in sight of his living room window. Beirnes committed suicide while in prison in 2005.
“Claudette Collette Anctil’s body is found beside an apartment building at 1339 10th Avenue SE. She was 27 years old, and was known by the police to frequent the low track stroll around the National Hotel. She was also known as a narcotics user. She disappeared late on Wednesday, December 2 and her bloodied body was discovered early on December 3, 1992. The police did not release the cause of death (Calgary Herald, 4 December 1992). “
Community Risk / Needs Management Scale completed. Alcohol consumption is reported as reduced to the point that Gregoire is now saving money through a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
The Corrections report notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:
January 31, 1993: Gregoire is charged with Impaired Driving after being found asleep at the wheel of his car at midnight in the parking lot of a convenience store close to his home. He is issued an appearance notice and released. There is no record of notification of this arrest to the Alberta Justice duty officer.
“Rebecca Boutilier was reported missing by her mother on February 12, 1993 after failing to return home to care for her 14 month old child (Herald February 17, 1993; Herald, March 3, 1993). Boutilier (age 20) had worked the streets since age 17 and had had problems with narcotics. The reports in the press in February and March detailed her mother’s attempts to circulate the photograph of her missing daughter to help track down her whereabouts.
On Thursday March 11, 1993 a naked body was discovered in a crop field in the extreme northwest outskirts of the city. There were obvious “wound marks” on the body which was partially covered by grass (Calgary Herald, March 12, 1993). She has been stabbed. The body was identified on Friday as that of Boutilier but at the time there were outstanding reports of three missing females anyone of whom could have been identified. Police questioned Boutilier’s estranged common law husband, Stanley Wayne Selinger, age 28. Selinger was due to appear in court on February 26 to face assault charges involving Boutilier and their son, Avery, arising from an incident reported December 30, 1992. Because of Boutilier’s disappearance on February 12, the assault case was adjourned (Calgary Herald, March 13, 1993). Selinger was never charged in the homicide. However, the assault case was brought to trial along with related charges on July 27. The Crown dropped the assault charges and Selinger pled guilty to 2 charges of possession of a restricted weapon – a switchblade and martial arts sticks and was fined $800 (Calgary Herald, July 28, 1993). This homicide has not been cleared.”
February 18, 1993: During a routine office interview, Gregoire reports to parole supervisor Buss that he has been charged. Her case notes read in part, “got charged impaired? in care + control, was sleeping in car because he had a few- cut it out” The notes continue to discuss the status of his RRSP and health benefit membership.
MARCH 22nd, 1993
Gregoire case notes indicate “waiting for end now – keep straight after WED..”
APRIL 6th, 1993
The Corrections report again notes, “The following information concerning events of January 31, 1993, is related to an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and was provided in confidence.”:
Gregoire is charged with Assault with a Weapon on a Female at approximately 0300 hours after a Calgary prostitute complains that she was assaulted with a roofing hammer by a client. He is released on $200 bail later that morning. There is no record to the Alberta Justice duty officer of this arrest.
APRIL 16th, 1993
The final case note entry reads: “Police done today – starting to celebrate – take it easy. On parole to May 13. No need to report.”
The Corrections report notes, “Some of the events included in the chronology for the period May 2 – , 1993 inclusive are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Calgary Police Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Information on these matters was provided in confidence by the Calgary Police Service”:
MAY 2nd, 1993
Aida Yuen reports to Calgary Police that a man attempted to abduct her in front of her home at approximately 2330 hours. She is able to escape and drives to a nearby store where she reports the incident.
MAY 3, 1993
Approximately one hour after the attempted abduction on May 2, Lailane Silva disappears from her work place. There is substantial media coverage of this event.
At 180 hours, May 3, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer (at the Bow River Correctional Centre) is contacted by the Calgary Police Service which is seeking unspecified information concerning offender Gregoire. They are told a message will be left for parole supervisor Buss who will contact them in the morning.
Offender Gregoire is arrested at 2230 hours May 3, 1993 and charged with unlawful confinement. At approximately 0150 hours on May 4, 1993, the Alberta Justice duty officer is advised of the arrest by the Calgary Police Service. A suspension warrant is issued and received by Calgary Police at approximately 0230 hours, May 4, 1993.
MAY 4, 1993
The body of Lailane Silva is found in Calgary and offender Gregoire is charged with First Degree Murder. There is considerable media coverage, including a media conference by the Calgary Police Service, and it is reported that inmate Gregoire is being investigated concerning other disappearances.
A sensational incident report is filed this date by the Director of Calgary Central Parole Office.
The suspension report is completed, and recommends revocation.
MAY 13, 1993
Offender Gregoire’s Statutory Release is revoked.
Here are my thoughts on the timeline and cases:
My assessment is that there is a good possibility that Luc Gregoire was responsible for the murders of Anita Gilavish, Tracy Maunder, Jean McMaster, Claudette Anctil and Rebecca Boutilier.
You will note that the media was initially quite diligent in pursuing this angle but very quickly dropped it. Perhaps they too saw that there was no evidence to support Gregoire as the murder of these women.
Perhaps something more.
For what would it say if Gregoire was allowed to prey on the city of Calgary, on some of the community’s most vulnerable members for over seventeen months, right under the noses of those that were enlisted to protect its citizens, the Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Central Parole Office? Never mind the $800,000 settlement in the matter of Lanie Silva, how much might all the other families extract?
Has law enforcement and the media been entirely transparent and responsible in these matters? Did they abandon the cause of a marginalized population? Are they at best lazy, at worst complicit?
Luc is dead. We may never know.
An Interview with criminologist Dr. Kim Rossmo, whose pioneer work lead to the creation of the field of geographic profiling:
Rossmo joined the Vancouver Police Department as a civilian employee in 1978 and became a sworn officer in 1980. In 1987 he received a master’s degree in criminology from Simon Fraser University and in 1995 became the first police officer in Canada to obtain a doctorate in criminology. His dissertation research resulted in a new criminal investigative methodology called geographic profiling.
In 1995, he was promoted to detective inspector and founded a geographic profiling section within the Vancouver Police Department. In 1998, his analysis of cases of missing sex trade workers determined that a serial killer was at work, a conclusion ultimately vindicated by the arrest and conviction of Robert Pickton in 2002. A retired Vancouver police staff sergeant has claimed that animosity toward Rossmo delayed the arrest of Pickton, leaving him free to carry out additional murders. His analytic results were not accepted at the time and after a dispute with senior members of the department he left in 2001. His unsuccessful lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Board for wrongful dismissal exposed considerable apparent dysfunction within that department.
After serving as director of research at the Police Foundation in Washington, DC, from 2001 to 2003, he moved to Texas State University where he currently holds the Endowed Chair in Criminology and is director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. Since then, he has applied techniques of geographic profiling to counterterrorism, animal foraging, and epidemiology. He has also researched and published on the subject of criminal investigative failures. He has written three books.
At the conclusion of this interview Kim very kindly wrote, “I just wanted to tell you that I have done a lot of interviews over the years and your questions today were really good. I could tell you put a lot of thought and planning into this.”
Rossmo as a “beat cop” in Vancouver:
The Bee Gees, Islands In The Stream:
The King Curtis cover of Procol Harum’s Whiter Shade of Pale:
My favorite Supertramp album (I hope it’s Kims!):
The Guess Who, Running Back to Saskatoon:
A show about the criminal investigative failure of the death of Theresa Allore from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. In this episode we focus on the murders of Manon Dube and Louise Camirand: